Friday, December 27, 2013

Announcing



Clara Gabriele and Dorothy Eva
born on December 26th at 1:30 AM and 4:00 AM
weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and 7 lbs respectively

details to follow, but everyone is doing well and enjoying our most special Christmas gift!

Thank you all for your many prayers, which no doubt helped these babies make such a peaceful entrance into the world, and of course Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Week Before Christmas This and That


How did it get to be the Friday before Christmas just like that?  Weeks ago I put Lily's preschool Christmas show on the calendar *sure* that I would not be able to attend, given the fact that I would be at home with newborn twins.  Well, guess where I got to go this morning?  It was adorable and wonderful to be surrounded by so many beloved friends and family members to hear the story of Jesus' birth.  An unexpected gift, and one that I gladly accepted, and I even convinced Ben to put on his Christmas bowtie.

And speaking of beloved family members, will you just look at adorable baby Grace?  One of the cutest babies ever, not that I am biased or anything.  We all adore her.  Irene and I overheard Hugo leaning into her and saying "Love you, baby Grace." over and over again.  There's nothing like a cousin's love (except maybe a sibling's love), and this girl has a lot of it and more on the way.

Babies are doing great and still hanging out in-utero.  Having spent the past many months saying "If only we get to 37 weeks!" we are both thrilled to be here, and now scratching our heads a little bit and wondering what, exactly, to do.  And, despite the fact that I am daily getting more and more eager (read: impatient) to meet these babies, we know that the answer is to relax and let them come on their own time, whenever that may be.  I wish I was as chill about it in real life as I come across sounding in that last sentence. Let's just say that being almost 38 weeks pregnant with twins is quite the physical endeavor.  But, one day at a time we're hanging in there... guesses for an arrival date welcome!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

36 Weeks Pregnant With Twins



36 Weeks!  Huzzah, we are here!  This feels like a pretty big week (no pun intended), because all through this pregnancy we have been saying, "Well, we really need to get to thirty six weeks."  And here we are!  While it would be optimal to keep the babies in for a couple more days (37 weeks or bust!), they are essentially good to go.  Anytime now, they can arrive and will likely be healthy, full-term babies ready to come straight home with us.

We had a midwife appointment on Monday, and everything looks great: the babies are growing like weeds, and I was told that I can stop worrying about going into labor.  The babies are ready.  Which means that I am allowed (encouraged, even!) to do anything that I feel like doing, anything that I have energy for, anything that I would normally do.  Oh, this is a huge relief.  Anyone who has severely restricted their activity over a sustained period of time knows what a relief this is.  So I have been bustling around the house, getting things ready for the babies, doing laundry, stocking up the freezer.  It has felt great to be more active these past few days, which gives me the tiniest glimpse into what I imagine I will feel like in the coming weeks once these babies arrive!

Of course these final days of pregnancy pose their own challenges, such as my poor swollen feet, my hands which keep falling asleep (carpel tunnel's syndrome, anyone?) and my complete inability to stand up from a sitting position.  Have you ever seen a pregnant woman balance a glass on her belly?  I could balance a tower of glasses, no problem.  Ben and I got a snack after the midwife appointment and the sweet woman checking us out looked at my belly and, concerned, uttered in her broken English, "Too big!  Twins?"  Yes!  I am officially past looking really pregnant with a single baby and into the realm of looking really pregnant with twins.  I love it.

A couple of times people have asked something to the effect of, "Twin pregnancy is hard, but do you really think that it will be much easier when the babies arrive?"  To which I respond a resounding, "Yes!"  Oh, yes.  There's the fact that we love newborns around here (and have experience keeping them happy and healthy).  There's the fact that I am usually the one in the family with a surplus of energy, and have been needing to take it very easy for the last several months due to the demands of this pregnancy.  And of course there's the fact that we're thrilled to meet these two new people who are about to join our family.  There are parents who gripe and groan about having a newborn around, and I am simply not one of them.  It is thrilling, and challenging, and tiring, and a wonderful adventure.  It is a precious gift, and I look forward to it wholeheartedly. 

Speaking of looking forward to things, my big sister comes home today with her unbelievably adorable bundle of a baby!  Oh, I am so excited!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You Know, Still Waiting


Pardon my silence in this space!  We live in a wonderful but power-outage prone neighborhood, and have just returned home after a two day exile due to a power outage for... wind?  Snow?  Rain?  Ice?    Not really sure what caused it, but we definitely (as always) lost power.

Power outages are so fun for the first couple of hours, until you realize that the interior of your house is 55 degrees, and you are out of gas for your grill, which is the only way you can heat food.  It's times like this that Ben and I dream of equipping our home to be off the grid with a wood pellet stove, a gas range, and a small gas generator.  But I doubt we'll do this anytime soon.  We are very lucky to have family in the area, and so whenever one of these outages is upon us, we load up into the van and head over to grandma's house.  Many members of my family, including me, think this is the best.  Delicious food, great company, and an inviting home.  Then this morning, when the real snow arrived, the big girls had a wonderful sledding companion (my mom) and I actually sat down and quietly enjoyed a cup of coffee in silence.  The absolute best, I tell you.

I'm still here with two babies in my tummy!  Or, as Hugo seems to hope, three brothers?  We've tried explaining the facts, to no avail.  St. Nicholas visited the house with new slippers filled with candy for the littles, we are working through the advent calendars one day at a time, and we assembled gingerbread houses over the weekend.  Bit by bit we are working through this Advent, and we are getting to be such good and patient waiters!  I am learning more than ever that this waiting business is not passive in the least.  It is active, hard work, even amid silence and stillness.

Ben and I went to see the midwife yesterday and everything looks fabulous.  But I'm getting ahead of myself: I'll fill you in on all of that tomorrow.

Thanks for the many prayers, thoughts, and love you've been sending our way!  It is such an encouragement, and really keeps us going.

(look!  Two stockings on the mantle!  Only five (or six, if you count the dog) to go.  I think we need a bigger mantle).

I hope wherever you are, you are warm, dry, and enjoying your Advent, too!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Homestretch


Is it just me or are all my kiddos looking so grown up?  I thought that was supposed to happen after the babies are born.  Yikes, I can't even imagine how I'll feel in a couple of weeks.  Seriously, though, Hugo is killing me with his little blazer.  Too cute.  Work it, little man, you look good.

Truth be told, the last couple of weeks, our energy level can most aptly described as.... hibernation?  Thirty five weeks pregnant with twins, I hand it to you, you win.  Partly, we are battling a little cold.  Partly, we are *so excited* to meet the babies.  Partly, Ben has an ear infection and our dog Selma has been very sick, and ick.  

Luckily, our kids are awesome and ebullient and sort of have their own little (fairly civilized) society going on in the household.  And we have been receiving help from many outlets.  And we are just taking things one single day at a time, because we are so close.  My body feels like it's slowly getting ready for the labor, which is great, and we remain optimistic about being able to keep these little babies inside for just a week and a half more (at least) so they're at least 37 weeks before they make their grand entrance.  

Looking at the sweet faces of our three already born babies makes me realize that this is all so incredibly worth it. Swollen feet, sore wrists (what?  weirdest pregnancy related ache yet), tired out husband and all.  This is the homestretch, and we are doing it.